Cow Hugging

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My neighbor and I loaded up the kids to take them to a local farm where there was rumors of a pumpkin patch. She, being a photographer, thought it’d be cool to get some traditional shots of all our youngin’s frolicking amongst the vines. I was all for it! Unfortunately, apparently you have to reserve space to take photos in the pumpkin patch, but fortunately, they had a barn.

I had a “my heart is melting Im going to cry” moment. I carried Zane in the Moby wrap and let Cade, dressed in overalls and John Deere boots, loose in the barn. There were miniature ponies with a sign proclaiming they bite (not sure why they were in the kid friendly barn?) and goats, and ducks, and two fat pigs, and a couple of cows… Cade was mesmerized. He pet everything he could reach. One of the goats, realizing the advantage of awestruck toddler, siddled sideways to the pen so Cade could enthusiastically scratch and pat his back. There was no need to coax Cade into approaching the animals, even the mud spattered pig got a few lusty slaps on the rump. The biggest issue was keeping Cade from grabbing feed out of the bowls in the duck pen.

Then there was the cow. She was a dainty lady, smallish, black, and far fuzzier than Ive ever seen a cow before. When she stood up from lying in the shade and ambled to the fence Cade came running over to introduce himself. He reached his chubby little hand right in and smacked her on the nose. She flicked an ear and playfully butted his arm. I finally fumbled my camera onto record and got a video of the two of them. Cade tried to climb into the pen and then settled for sticking both hands in and giving the big cow head a hug. Twice.

You guys, I had a moment. This child, in so many ways, is so much like me! Here he was, completely oblivious to dirt and dust and smell and bugs, eagerly wanting to make friends with all the animals. Giggling with glee when they responded to not so subtle petting, fascinated with their every movement, several times making attempts to break into the pens for a closer experience. When we’re on playdates with Max, Cade will play with their dog Bamson, letting the dog jump on him, lick him, paw at him…and in return he pets and gives kisses and plays chase. What I wanted most as a little girl was to be able to talk to animals. I convinced my parents at 5 to get a puppy. I was forever rescuing baby birds, and one time, memorably, a bat. I had guinea pigs, mice, fish…and they all got ceremonially buried in the back yard. Cade has already attempted to befriend a stray dog earlier this year, and now he’s galavanting around barns hugging cows.

My goodness, I love the little booger so much.

…and I miss Remus.

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